10th Belfast Film Festival

A marathon of movies over sixteen days is announced at the festival launch

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Celebrate the 10th birthday of the Belfast Film Festival with a diverse programme of feature films, shorts, documentaries and events. This year the festival has been extended by six days, running from April 15 – 30.

Once a small element within the Féile an Phobail community festival the Belfast Film Festival has grown exponentially over the last ten years. Last year it put upwards of 16,000 bums-on-seats at events and has become one of the key cultural events in Northern Ireland.

The festival opens on April 15 at the Moviehouse, Dublin Road with the UK/Irish premiere of Triage, starring Colin Farrell as a war photographer in the late eighties.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Naomi Long spoke at the launch, 'The Festival I believe promotes this city and its people, both on an international and national stage, and it gives us the opportunity really to show that reputation we have for innovation and creativity is widely regarded.'

The Lord Mayor added, 'That creativity and that vibrancy, that energy that we have in the city has been a major contributor to the transformation that we've seen in this city in recent years and I hope that it will continue to be a transforming force and a transforming power in the city of Belfast.'

Boasting over 30 UK/Irish premieres in an extensive programme, this Belfast Film Festival has 125 screenings and events across the city with films from over 25 countries, 30 short films and 3 new local feature films including a gala screening of Colin McIvor's directorial debut, Cupcake.

Michele Devlin, Festival Director picked out a few highlights, 'We are delighted to confirm that John Lynch (Cal, In The Name of the Father) will attend the premiere, and will give an acting master-class which will include a reading from his soon to be published second novel Falling Out of Heaven. Local film-maker Michael McNulty, a prime example of how hard work and persistence pays off, will premiere his first film Empire, made on a zero budget over three years, is a true labour of love set in Belfast and starring many well known local faces and locations.'

The closing night film will be the UK/Ireland premiere by one of Hollywood's finest directors, Francis Ford Coppola. His feature Tetro, starring Vincent Gallo, is Coppola’s first original screenplay since The Conversation, shot in black and white and set in the bristling streets of Buenos Aires.

Those eager to see award-winning films will not be disappointed, with Conor McPherson’s The Eclipse, which won Best Film award at the Irish Film and Television Awards this year and stars Northern Ireland's Ciarán Hinds alongside Aidan Quinn, having its Northern Ireland debut. Ken Wardrop will introduce his documentary film His and Hers, a huge hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

One of the special events to take place is a classic episode of the cult 1960s TV show, The Prisoner, at First Church of Christ, Scientist University Street. The Belfast Church's architect Clough Williams–Ellis' work can be seen in the village of Portmeirion in Wales where the cult TV show was set. The screening will be followed by a discussion on Clough Williams-Ellis’ work and the importance of architectural heritage in Belfast.

Once again music enthusiasts can enjoy the Sound and Vision Strand of the Festival, with a number of treats including music documentaries on Nick Cave, Neil Young and The Doors. For live music, the Film Festival has teamed up with Moving on Music and Strange Victory with Danish band Efterklang performing their quirky experimental pop and also featured in the programme is San Fransisco’s Wooden Shjips.

Full information is now available in the official 10th Belfast Film Festival Programme distributed in key venues across Belfast and by booking online at www.belfastfilmfestival.org. Tickets are available for purchase by phoning Belfast Welcome Centre on 028 90 246609 on in person at 47 Donegall Place Belfast.

Eddie Mullan